After putting the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid through the wringer (meaning: we assessed it for our first drive), we dubbed it, "a Porsche Cayenne Hybrid for the people." Why'd we compare it to a Porsche? Well, the Touareg Hybrid shares its supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission and its all-wheel-drive system with the Porsche model, so comparisons between the two should be expected. However, the Cayenne Hybrid, with a base price of $67,700, is too expensive for our tastes, and we'd venture to guess that it's priced beyond the reach of many American buyers as well.
No problem, this would be where the Touareg Hybrid steps in. Or so we thought. We anticipated that VW's hybrid would be the bargain of the two, and therefore, bring the goods of the Cayenne Hybrid to "the people." We were expecting the hybrid model to command a premium north of the $44,350 price tag on the current TDI Touareg, but how far north remained unknown until now. Volkswagen has revealed the Touareg's base price, and it's a whopping $60,565, plus $820 in destination fees. With a wallet-crunching MSRP like that, the 20 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway Touareg Hybrid will likely struggle to appeal to "the people." We'll stop short of calling the Touareg Hybrid a failure, but with Porsche's version priced within spitting distance, we're struggling to think of any reason why buyers should opt for the VW. If it were our coin on the line, we'd go with the less pricey Touareg TDI.